Hey Stewart, cheers, great article :) Such valid points, a lot of businesses feel threatened and perhaps arrogant too. They keep to themselves, watching the competition and continually work to outdo them. This can get pretty demoralizing — and also it’s distracting for a business to keep looking outward for innovation and progress.
As you’ve mentioned, the collaborative approach has such strong benefits: improving the industry for everyone, advocating change, and sharing knowledge and understanding.
As a sole business owner, it’s so easy to get demotivated by the competition, and lost in my own work. Getting used to the way I do things. Thinking there’s so little time to work let alone keep in regular contact with other business (who weren’t clients).
But when I joined a great business network, and worked in a co-working space, I realized much of what you’ve mentioned. We are stronger together. Three specific things:
- Collaboration takes you places you never imagined (I’ve made contacts and landed work I never would have gotten on my own)
- You get new perspectives and learn better ways of doing things (for example I put together a presentation for a client — my graphic design colleague helped to make it clearer in ways I had never thought of)
- Motivation ebbs and flows yet simply letting out frustrations and discussing mental blocks with others who understand can unblock us and keep us going
And the key point about collaborating I’d like to highlight is to collaborate with people who share your values. And I’d add, to people we like — since we are drawn to people we like and trust.
Cheers for sharing Stewart!